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Facebook to close up shop on its digital gift card service

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If you want to buy your friend a gift card to go stuff themselves at Chilis, you're going to have to do it somewhere else than Facebook soon. The social network today said it's shuttering its gifts service, which let people buy gift cards in the form of digital codes. That was instead of simply leaving the equivalent of the high school yearbook "have a great summer" message scrawled out on people's walls on their special day of birth, and on other special occasions.

According to Facebook, which spoke to Recode, the service is being shut down for good August 12th in favor of simply letting developers and companies offer their own online stores, complete with "buy" buttons for goods. On its help page, Facebook notes that those who have received digital gifts or that have a balance from a Facebook Card can still redeem those after the end of the program.

This is the second shuttering of a gifts service by Facebook. The company stopped letting people buy real products through its gifts service last August, less than a year after a splashy relaunch of the storefront it acquired from a startup called Karma. Before that, Facebook tried its hand at selling gifts that were effectively digital stickers, but gave that up too.